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Daily Digest | #BeliBuka?

Written by The Uptake Published on     2 mins read

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Suspicious tweets were promoting Bukalapak’s stock ahead of the company’s IPO on the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Hey. It’s Brady here. Welcome to another week.

Ahead of Bukalapak’s history-making IPO on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, a bunch of tweets caught our attention. They had the hashtag #BeliBuka, or “buy Bukalapak.” Most of them weren’t retweeted or liked. The situation had the contours of a manipulation campaign.

Khamila, my colleague in Jakarta, dug into the matter. She spoke to a former journalist who had compiled a massive spreadsheet to catalog all the relevant tweets. The conclusion? They were sent out by either bots or people who were paid to do so.

It isn’t clear who was behind the organized effort to drum up share buys, so we have no idea how effective the action was and whether it led to windfalls for anyone. In any case, the situation feels wrong, even though it’s in a legal gray area where the exact wording in the tweets doesn’t place them squarely within the bucket of fraud.

Investment apps are growing in popularity in Indonesia, but the general population’s financial literacy hasn’t remained in step with the ubiquity of retail investments. That’s a potentially devastating combination, as there are few protections in place for people who decide to shoulder excessive risk in instruments they may not fully understand. Stay sharp out there.

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